Thursday, 19 June 2008

Las Vegas ... so many ... Hotels & Casinos

Our son decided that we should experience Las Vegas and we would probably never go on our own ... so he bought a trip for us. It was a different kind of holiday, but a wonderful get-a-way! We took off from Vancouver Airport - looking over the Fraser river, Point Grey and the coastal mountains.We followed the Pacific coast for a while, then turned inland and soon we were in a different topography - desert mountains.Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Incorporated in 1911, gaming became legal in 1946 and in Nevada alcohol flows freely.LV is located in a desert valley with artesian wells, the name meaning 'the meadows'. Although known as a tourist town, LV has a diversified economy. Here is the skyline of hotels.The hotels can be divided into three groups. The first casinos are in 'old town, the original 'mob' hotels on Freemont St. We only had 3 days, so never got there. I'm told it is worth seeing.

The tourist area is concentrated along 4-5 miles called 'the strip'. Fast aerial monorail zips you from Wynn to MGM. Moving sidewalks move you up and over the streets ... into the next casino.
The Second group is the Mega-casinos: built in the 1990's: MGM, New York, New York. A rollercoaster snakes through the skyline.Caesar's Palace has a 'ruin' with huge reproductions of mythical figures. One tells the story of the destruction of Atlantis with 10 foot robotic figures of the king and his quarelling children. Atlantis crumbles and falls into the floor, to be replaced with Greek figures.
The third group of more luxurious recent hotels are 4 and 5 star. Paris - complete with reproductions of Paris buildings, a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, Fountains, a huge signature balloon and the Arc de Triumph. The Hotel is in the background with 3000 rooms.
We had dinner at the tower restaurant with a view of the Bellagio fountain light show.The Bellagio is Italian with a musical fountain. Press the arrow and have a look ...

Inside, gardens sport a network of model trains set in with some interesting background. The Venitian Hotel comes with indoor and outdoor canals. My husband treated me to a gondola ride with a singing gondolier.The Whynn, with modern design, hosts the major international shopping boutiques.We never did figure out if this huge structure had a purpose. There are probably 20 major casinos and they are estimated to take in millions of dollars each day. The casinos drive the economy and enable the building of these extravegant hotels.

A new complex called 'City Center' is costing 8 Billions dollars to build.
Psychologists can have a playday here. Casinos are designed to keep you circulating, exits are not easily seen. Lights blink in a hypnotic way. The sound of a 'hit' reverberates through the casino. The ceilings are high and often painted either 'sky blue 'or 'night sky', causing a loss of sense of time. Drinks are free to gamblers. You see: young and old, well and sick, poor and rich sitting at the tables. Hotels even run TV shows on how to play pocker, etc.

One thing that surprised us was the amount of young children with their parents. They walked by Mexican kids handing out cards for prostitiutes. A poster ...We never thought in terms of taking our kids to an 'adult city' for a holiday. A friend told us a story that took place 20 years ago. Her husband and 7 year old daughter walked through a casino and tried one of the machines. He was told that his daughter couldn't be in the casino - but could sleep in the entrance with the other children. Thank goodness that no longer happens!
Las Vegas is the entertainment center of the world. Shows by international stars run nightly. Elton John was opening in June. The Las Vegas Showgirls are legendary.
Truly a fascinating city that never sleeps. Few fortunes are made, many are lost!



Hello from Norway
I love you art quilts on you blog :-)
Have a nice and creative week:-))

FabricMom said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Toni said...

Love your pics...We were there for memorial weekend...Hope you had fun..Toni

Maria del Valle said...

Beautiful Photos!! dear friend thanks by sharing them.

Margaret said...

Great photos! The last anecdote was pretty sad though! I can't feature anyone leaving their kids to sleep in a doorway while they gambled!